Pest Control (go green)



Here’s just a sampling of some of the most toxic chemical insecticides used today: (Dr. Karen Becker)

  • Organophosphates such as diazinon, malathion, dichlorvos, and chlorpyrifos are popular insecticides that can affect the nervous system of people and pets

  • Carbaryl, found in over 190 registered pesticide products, is harmful to essential outdoor critters like honey bees and earthworms

  • Pyrethroids such as permethrin, cyfluthrin, and bifenthrin are synthetic chemicals that act like natural flower extracts, and can infiltrate waterways and kill aquatic organisms (more in just a minute about their effects on your pet)

  • Metaldehyde, commonly found in snail and slug bait, is toxic to dogs and wildlife

  • Neonicotinoids, including imidacloprid, are a newer class of insecticides that are chemically related to nicotine, and devastating to butterflies and honey bees

Choose non-toxic insecticides that contain plant oils, cedar oil, diatomaceous earth (food grade), or organic insecticides like that like d-limonene which is made from citrus peels, or spinosad-containing products that are OMRI approved.

10 Ways To Get Rid Of Ants

  Natural, Organic and Other Methods of Fire Ant Control - Texas AM

Kills insects in all stages of life, such as fleas, ticks, ants, mosquitoes and mite

Kills insects in all stages of life, such as fleas, ticks, ants, mosquitoes and mite









Natural, Organic and Other Methods of Fire Ant Control

Lawn Care (Safe)

Motion Activated Sprinkler

Use a motion-activated sprinkler to deter your dog from going to an area you do not wish them digging. When they approach a designated area, the motion activated sprinkler repels them with a short but startling burst of water. The sudden noise, movement and spray scares animals away, teaching them to avoid the area in future. Adjust the detection pattern to only activate when your dog enters an area you do not wish them dig.  

If The Yard Has Gophers Or Moles

Place sonic spikes in the yard to encourage gophers and moles to go elsewhere.


Insecticides come in at No. 7 of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center's top 10 pet toxins of 2017. Insecticides includes items such as ant baits, bug sprays and yard products. Ant baits use attractants like peanut butter which unfortunately attract dogs as well as ants. In our effort to battle home invasions of unwelcome pests, we often unwittingly put our pets at risk.

Make sure your lawn is safe for your children and animals

ASPCA Poison Control

Studies Link Canine Cancers to Lawn Chemicals

Detection of herbicides in the urine of pet dogs following home lawn chemical application.

Household Chemical Exposures and the Risk of Canine Malignant Lymphoma, a Model for Human Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Case-Control Study of Canine Malignant Lymphoma: Positive Association With Dog Owner's Use of 2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid Herbicides

The Antser Ant-Proof Barrier

The Antser Ant-Proof Barrier

Integrated Pest Management

Holes in your chard? Gouges in your apricots? Yellowing, wilting leaves? It's time to get rid of the pests and keep your garden growing!

We're going to try to make it easier to keep the good bugs and bad bugs straight and eliminate the damaging bugs this month. Of course, the first defense against pests is always a healthy plant. Pests usually go for plants that are sickly, lacking in nutrients, in the wrong site, or watered irregularly. So, your first resource should always be to grow healthy plants and have healthy soil.

We have some tips if you're asking yourself, "What's eating this leaf and how do I make it stop?" The first step to eliminating the pest at hand is to identify it! Many foliage chomping pests are most active at night, so if you haven't seen it in action during the day, take a flashlight out to your garden after dark and turn some leaves over in search of the culprit.

If you need help identifying the culprit, the book, "Pests of the Garden & Small Farm" is an indispensible resource as is the
UC Davis Integrated Pest Management Website.

Once you've identified your garden enemy, you can create an effective management plan. This may include trapping or hand picking, a biological control such as introducing a "good bug", a cultural control like reducing the number of cool moist hide-outs, and/or a chemical control including natural insecticidal soaps and BT.

The Top 5 Pest Complaints

The Pest: Snails & Slugs

The Problem: Leaves with irregular chewed holes with smooth edges. Fruits near the ground with large holes eaten out of them, especially strawberries.

Know Your Enemy: Snails & slugs like cool weather and are most active on cloudy or foggy days and at night. A slime trail is a tell-tale sign that they've been around. They are one of the easiest pests to find: they are big!


Sluggo Plus: 
Environmentally friendly bait effectively kills many of the gardens most prolific pests. Unique blend of iron phosphate, a natural soil element, and spinosad, which is derived from a naturally occurring soil dwelling bacteria, and bait additives compressed into easy-to-use pellets.

Slug Saloon
A safe, efficient, non-toxic method of slug and bug control. The Slug Saloon is a durable lifetime trap for slugs and earwigs. Child and pet safe.

Wet down infested area in the late afternoon with a hose. Come back out after dark with a flashlight, gloves, and a pail of soapy water to drop them in. Repeat daily until there's been a noticeable decline at which point weekly handpicking should be adequate.

A flexible copper strip is a powerful deterrent for slugs and snails because it creates an electrolytic effect that repels them when they touch it. A reaction between their slimy secretion and the copper causes the shock.

Reduce Hiding Places 
Eliminating overgrown areas, low-laying boards, and rocks will force them further from your garden to find a day time hiding place. Also, while mulches can be very beneficial in a garden, there is a trade off: mulches provide hiding places for slugs & snails.

Beer Traps 
Dig a hole in the ground for a tuna can or similar container so that the lip is even with the ground. Fill it with beer and the slugs and snails will have a final toast. They can't resist the smell and taste!


The Pest: Earwigs

The Problem: Chewed leaves and stems and/or gouges in soft stone fruit or strawberries

Know Your Enemy: Earwigs are most active at night and prefer cool, moist, dark places


Insect Baits, Traps & Sprays

Dozens available at, including, organic traps, baits, and sprays.

Diatomaceous Earth
Fossilized shells of tiny water-dwelling organisms called diatoms which, when ground, have microscopically fine, sharp edges. Used as a barrier to crawling pests such as slugs, snails, earwigs, etc.

Earwig & slug trap: The Slug Saloon 
A safe, efficient, non-toxic method of slug and bug control. The Slug Saloon is a durable lifetime trap for slugs and earwigs. Child and pet safe.

Trapping in cans
Fill multiple tuna fish cans with 1/2" of water with a drop of oil and soy sauce or bacon drippings and place them throughout your garden. Capture daily, dump earwigs in soapy water, refill cans, repeat daily!

Trapping in rolled newspaper
Moistened newspaper, rolled up in a tube, provides the perfect hiding place for earwigs. Pick the newspaper rolls up daily and drown them in soapy water daily.

Reduce Hiding Places: 
Eliminating overgrown areas, low-laying boards, and rocks will force them further from your garden to find a day time hiding place.


The Pest: Aphids

The Problem: Leaves that are curling, yellowing, and/or exhibiting oozing honeydew (the aphids suck the fluid out of the leaves). Leaves will often be covered with aphids.

Know Your Enemy: Aphids are very small, soft bodied insects that congregate most frequently on the underside of leaves and do not move quickly when disturbed. They are often in large clumps rather than a solitary insect. They come in all colors as well, from pale green to dark brown



Check your plants a couple times a week to catch infestations early. Remember to look on the underside of leaves.

Eliminate the Ants if they're around

Ants actually help aphid populations, protecting them in some cases from beneficial insects (see more on ants below).

Beneficial Insects

Introduce aphids' natural predators like parasitic wasps, lady bugs, lacewing & syrphid fly. Planting things like sweet alyssum or anything in the apiaceae family help to attract beneficial insects. The main defense against aphids is to increase beneficial habitat. You can also mail order beneficial insects

Row covers

Use a light weight row cover to protect seedlings which are more vulnerable than mature plants.

Reflective Mulch

Aphid and whitefly numbers can be lower in plants grown on reflective mulches. Reflective mulches were also shown to lower the numbers of cucumber beetles by 6 times in a study written up the American Society of Horticultural Science.

Wash 'em off

Using a strong stream of water, wash the aphids and their honeydew off plants.

Insecticidal soap

Spray infested foliage with neem oilSafer SoapPyganic for temporary control. Multiple applications may be necessary as they will only kill aphids present at time of spraying.

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